The family lived in a farmhouse on a vineyard. Mother and daughters first revealed their musical abilities at talent shows produced by Nancy at Twin Hills Junior High School, where Kacie and Brodie performed from first to eighth grades. The two began playing guitar when Kacie was 11 and Brodie nine. When Kacie was in the sixth grade and Brodie in the fourth, they sang with their mother before an audience at the school gymnasium, harmonizing on the Judds' "Guardian Angels" with Kacie taking the lead, Brodie the high part, and Nancy the low. As a result, they were approached by songwriter Dennis Hysom about turning professional. Nancy began writing songs and making demos with Hysom and his wife, Chris Walker, and the demos were heard by Los Angeles record producer Peter Bunetta, who worked with the trio for two years.
In 2003, they were signed to Capitol Records Nashville, which put them in the recording studio with Rodney Crowell producing. The result was their debut album, The Jenkins, six of its ten songs co-written by Nancy and one, "Tame Little Heart," co-written by the sisters, Hysom, and Walker. "Blame It on Mama," an advance single, appeared on March 29, 2004, and reached the country charts, followed by the full album on August 24, 2004. Meanwhile, the Jenkins went on a summer tour opening for LeAnn Rimes. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi